#OnThisDay (15 Mar 1986) Hotel New World Collapse
#OnThisDay (15 Mar) in 1986, the Lian Yak Building (commonly known as Hotel New World)— located at the intersection of Owen Road and Serangoon Road — collapsed at approximately 11.15 am. It was considered Singapore’s first major civil disaster, and one of the worst disasters in post-war Singapore.
The cause? Structural faults, shoddy design, and haphazard construction. Many columns and beams were unable to withstand the structural load from installations and tiles, while maintenance was neglected, and defects ignored. As early as 1974, safety concerns had been raised, as cracks began forming in the walls of several rooms.
In the aftermath, many came together for the five-day search-and-rescue operation, including more than 500 personnel from the Singapore Civil Defence Force, former Fire Service, Singapore Police Force and the Singapore Armed Forces. Rescuers risked their lives to look for those trapped, companies pitched in with rescue equipment and personnel, and hundreds of Singaporeans came forward to volunteer and donate supplies and blood.
Following the disaster, we raised safety standards and tightened construction regulations, to ensure that a disaster like this never happens again. #CivilDefence #WeAreTotalDefence